KOREA vs USA – Final Match Olympics 2008

Korea vs USA – Men’s 68 KG Taekwondo Final – Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games


Mark López Mendieta is an American taekwondo practictioner. Mark represented the United States in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. He advanced to the men’s -68 kg Gold Medal Match where he lost to Korea’s Tae-Jin Son on a last second hit, giving him the silver medal.

He is the younger brother of Olympic gold medalist Steven López and their Taekwondo coach Jean Lopez and older brother of Olympian Diana López and is married to Dagmar López.

Career highlights

  • 2009 World Championships Denmark: BRONZE
  • 2008 Olympic Games(Feather): Silver
  • 2008 Olympic Trials (Feather): GOLD
  • 2007 Pan Am Olympic Qualifier: SILVER
  • 2007 Olympic Trials (Bantam/Feather): GOLD
  • 2006 Dutch Open (Light): GOLD
  • 2005 World Championships (Feather): GOLD
  • 2003 World Championships (Feather): SILVER
  • 2002 World University Championships (Feather): SILVER
  • 2002 National Collegiate Championships (Feather): GOLD
  • 2002 NCTA Male Athlete of the Year
  • 2001 U.S. National Championships (Feather): GOLD
  • 2001 National Collegiate Championships (Feather): GOLD
  • 2000 U.S. Olympic Qualifying Tournament #1 (Fly): GOLD
  • 2000 National Collegiate Championships (Feather): GOLD
  • 1999 U.S. National Championships (Bantam): BRONZE
  • 1999 World Championships (Bantam): BRONZE
  • 1999 U.S. Junior Olympic Championships (Light): BRONZE
  • 1998 U.S. Open (Fin): SILVER
  • 1998 U.S. National Championships (Fin): BRONZE
  • 1998 World Junior Championships (Feather): BRONZE
  • 1997 U.S. Open (Junior Fly): GOLD
  • 1996 U.S. Open (Junior Super Fin): GOLD


about Son Tae-jin

Son Tae-jin (Hangul: 손태진, Hanja: 孫泰珍) (born May 5, 1988 in Gyeongsan, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea) is a South Korean Taekwondo practitioner. In May 2007, Son first competed in the World Taekwondo Championships in Beijing, China at the age of 19, but lost to Algimiro Mejias of Venezuela in the bantamweight (-62 kg) first round.

In September 2007, he finished in 1st place in the -68 kg category at the World Qualification Tournament in Manchester, England by defeating 2005 world featherweight (-67 kg) champion Mark López of United States in the quarterfinals and 2007 world featherweight (-67 kg) champion Gessler Viera Abreu of Cuba in the final. In May 2008, Son eventually qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, defeating 2006 Asian Game winner Kim Ju-Young and 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Song Myeong-Seob at the 2008 Korean Olympic Taekwondo Trials.

On August 21, 2008, Son won the gold medal in the -68 kg category at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, defeating Mark López of the United States in the final. On July 22, 2009, Son was knocked out by Park Hyung-Jin in Round 2 of the featherweight (-68 kg) final match at the 2009 President’s Cup in Ulsan, South Korea via a back spinning hook kick. He collapsed to the mat and was disoriented after the stand-up. Due to the defeat, Son didn’t qualify as a member of the 2010 South Korean national taekwondo team.

In 2010, Son won the gold medal in the World Combat Games by defeating Reza Naderian in the final.